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This article is about the episode. You may be looking for the magazine story or the Chinese DVD.

“The visitors will wait a long time for their afternoon tea if Stephen is given the job!"
"I'll have you know they used to call me the Rocket, because I was so speedy!"
"Ha! Compared to a horse and cart, maybe!”
―Spencer and Stephen

The Afternoon Tea Express is the twenty-third episode of the seventeenth series.


Stephen becomes very excited when the Earl gives him the special job of collecting the ingredients for the afternoon teas at the Castle. But Spencer teases him about being too old and slow. Stephen is cross but is soon steaming around Sodor picking up all the ingredients. But soon, Gordon puffs up behind him and tells him to hurry up. He then pushes Stephen quickly along the rails up to the junction to Ulfstead Castle. Spencer is surprised to see Stephen back so soon.

Stephen pretends to have been really fast. Over the next few days, Stephen is pushed by Thomas, James and Emily making him super fast. But when he is collecting jam for the Earl, Lady Hatt, and the Fat Controller, none of the engines are there to help push him. However, he finds Spencer, who pushes him the fastest up to the castle. But he goes so fast, he cannot stop and biffs into the buffers at Ulfstead Castle, making the four barrels of jam fly all over the Earl, Lady Hatt and the Fat Controller.

After he apologizes, he takes the visitors to the castle on a tour of Sodor whilst getting more jam, and realizes that going slow is not that bad after all.





US and CAN

  • Kerry Shale as Gordon and Sir Topham Hatt
  • Glenn Wrage as Spencer
  • Bob Golding as Stephen
  • Teresa Gallagher as Lady Hatt
  • Mike Grady as Sir Robert Norramby


  • Going by production order, this is the fourteenth episode of the seventeenth series.
  • This episode marks Spencer's only appearance in the seventeenth series.
  • This episode marks the last of two things:
  • Teresa Gallagher takes over the role as Lady Hatt from Jules de Jongh in the US dub.
  • In the Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Baltic Russian and one of the Vietnamese dubs, the UK dub can be heard in the background as a dubbing track was not used.


  • Stephen has his black funnel throughout the episode. Although, a rare picture shows him with his correct white funnel.
  • The open-topped carriage constantly changes height throughout the episode.
  • Stephen's trucks swap places during his journey.
  • When Stephen and Gordon go over the camera, Gordon seems to be pulling less than six carriages when in the next few shots he has six carriages.
  • When the narrator is talking about Stephen getting pushed by other engines, he says "The next day" even though Stephen's runs are weekly.
  • When Emily pushes Stephen, she is pulling the express coaches instead of her own, and there appears to be another set of wheels behind the brake coach.
  • When the barrels of jam fly onto the platform at Ulfstead Castle, the narrator says that the barrels "smashed to the ground." However, the barrels never broken, they remained completely intact.
  • The jam covering Lady Hatt disappears for a scene.


In Other Languages

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Language Title
Brazilian Portuguese O Expresso do Chá da tarde
Chinese Mandarin 下午茶特快车
Czech Expres odpoledního čaje
Dutch Thee met een Sneltreinvaart
French L'Express Du Goûter des Elfes
Galician O Expreso da Merenda
German Die Kaffeefahrt
Greek Το απογευματινό εξπρές του τσαγιού
Hebrew רכבת של שעת התה
Hungarian A délutáni tea expressz
Italian L'Espresso del Tè delle Cinque
Japanese アフタヌーンティーきゅうこう
Korean 티타임 특급열차
Latin American Spanish El Express del Té de la Tarde
Latvian Pēcpusdienā tēja express
Norwegian Ettermiddagsteekspressen
Polish Herbatkowy ekspres
Romanian Ceaiul de După-Amiază
Russian Послеобеденное чаепитие
Spanish El Expreso del Té Vespertino
Ukrainian Експрес-Підвечірок

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